QAI made a submission to the Queensland Government on the Youth Justice and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019.
Here is an excerpt from the submission of our key recommendations:
- Detention of children awaiting trial must be done in a way that is consistent with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child,1 and with the ‘Beijing Rules’,2 and the Bill should ensure that the detention of children is:
- a measure of last resort, and
- for the shortest time.
- Where detention does occur, children must be segregated and kept in age-appropriate, non-prison like environments.
- The Bill should increase the Queensland minimum to 14 years. The minimum age of criminal responsibility for juveniles in Queensland is currently 10 years. The international standard is 12 years and in some countries, 15 years.
- Detention centres should be inspected by an independent body, wither pursuant to Australia’s OPCAT obligations, or by Queensland establishing a new inspecting body.
- Queensland must work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community representatives to develop a systemic response to the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in Queensland prisons.
You can read the full submission here.